Three deaf and mute defendants were convicted in court on Thursday after they’d reportedly forced a group of disabled people to beg on the streets of Beijing.
According to SCMP, one defendant, Zhang Zhiguo, claimed to have collected between 1,000 and 2,000 yuan from four young disabled men every two to three days as he threatened them and forced them to beg, then gave them only 20 to 30 yuan per day to live on.
The leader of the ring, Wang Zhigang, apparently earned over 1.3 million yuan in nine months from the operation and used the money to live lavishly, according to reports.
He had gathered deaf and mute individuals from the internet, then seized their IDs and intimidated them into begging.
Wang claimed that he was just “borrowing” money from the people to create a performing arts company.
He also said in court that he’d spent over 100,000 helping disabled people.
[Image via Want China Times]